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How Much Do Skydiving Instructors Make? Skydiving Jobs Explained.

Smiling skydiving instructor outside of an open plane at the dropzone.

Calling all the thrill-seekers, adrenaline enthusiasts, and lovers of the great, blue skies – this one’s for you! Have you ever wondered, “How much does a skydiving instructor earn?” Is there a salary for skydiving instructors, or is it pay per jump? How can you integrate into the realm of people who truly love their jobs? 

We’ve got you covered with all the deets on skydiving jobs. This article will get down to the nitty gritty and answer the question, how much do skydiving instructors make? 

How Do Skydivers Make Money? 

There are quite a few ways to make some moolah in the skydiving world! The top career paths in the industry are Tandem Instructor, AFP (or AFF or IAD/SL) Instructor, Videographer, Packer (or rigger), Manifest, and Pilot. Each of these positions require its own unique set of skills and distinct training regimen. These diverse roles collectively work together to make skydiving what it is: AWESOME. 

Although being a parachute packer, jump pilot, or manifest worker does not require you to earn a skydiving license, being an instructor certainly does! 

How Do You Get A Skydiving License? 

Soaring the open skies solo is surprisingly pretty straightforward. First, do a tandem jump (and fall in love with the sport). Second, complete the AFP skydiving program. That’s it, hehe. This carefree disposition isn’t to undermine the sheer dedication, passion, and mental and physical fortitude it takes to pass the AFP skydiving program, but rather show how simple it truly is! 

After earning the first solo skydiving license, the A-License, aspiring instructors will go on to achieve their B, C, and D licenses. While doing so, they will gain different ratings, take intensive courses, and invest knowledge-seeking time, energy, and resources into the sport. 

How much does it cost to get a skydiving license at Skydive Cross Keys? 

The cost of getting your first skydiving license is usually around $4000. Okay, okay, don’t freak out just yet. This includes the required 25 jumps, tons of instruction and coaching, gear rental, and so much more. Is this comparable to how much it costs to get a skydiving license in the US? Yes! 

How Much Do Skydiving Instructors Make In The USA?

How much do skydivers earn for giving people the freedom of human flight? Similar to other professions, skydiving instructors will often make different wages based on things like geographic location, time spent in the sport, certifications, and how many jumps they have. Because tandem instructors are typically paid per jump, a parachute instructor salary can have a pretty broad range. 

How much does a tandem skydive instructor make? Ballpark, anywhere between $20,000 and $80,000 annually. RedBull states that skydiving instructors make an average of $35,000 per year on salary. 

Woah, that’s a pretty big range! Yep, but just like other professional endeavors, it makes sense. That range includes freelance skydiving instructors (who may only jump a couple times per week) and those who introduce people to the sky as their full-time gig. 

How Much Do Skydiving Instructors Make Per Jump? 

This answer is pretty variable, too, and ranges per jump. This means that instructors who are paid per jump will opt to work at dropzones that are consistently busy and have shorter off-seasons. 

How much do skydiving instructors make per hour? While instructors are typically paid per jump, it’s not unheard of to earn hourly compensation to account for weather holds or tandem student cancellations, but this is dropzone-specific.  

Two Professional Skydivers Floating Above the Clouds, One Wearing a Helmet Cameraa

How Much Do Skydiving Videographers Make?

Being a videographer is a pretty sweet gig. You get to experience the excitement jitters of a tandem student, but from a different perspective than the tandem instructor – pretty neat! How much do skydivers get paid for shooting the video? These numbers similarly depend on the same factors that affect instructors, like geographic location or dropzone size. 

How Much Does A Skydiving Pilot Make? 

Is a jump pilot’s salary more than a skydiver salary? Well, they’re not on the same playing field. For example, if we fly 40 loads per day, and one pilot is flying all those loads, they will make more than the tandem instructor, even if the instructor does 10 jumps that day (which is a good day)!

What jump pilots don’t earn in dollars, they gain in experience. Many jump pilots choose to work at dropzones to accrue flight time and enable them to pursue other interests, such as flying commercially. We are so thankful for our diver drivers – sometimes, they even take the leap with us!

View of Skydiving Plane from Under the Wing of Another Plane

Do Skydiving Instructors, Videographers & Others Make Tips? 

In the skydiving world we say tipping is never expected, but always appreciated. Instructors, videographers, and packers work their booty’s off to ensure a safe and fun environment for everyone, and we’re always thankful for recognition. Sometimes that comes in the form of tips, other times it’s in online reviews, and in a perfect world it’s both!  

Our passionate team of highly-experienced and rated skydiving instructors, videographers, and jump pilots can’t wait to fly with you! Book your skydive today!

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